Go to content Go to menu





„This unique baroque landscape, created three hundred years ago in the valley of the Elbe River, by the town of Dvůr Králové, continues to give us a testimony of a precious time. The landscape composition created by the magnificent ideas of Count F. A. Špork have been preserved until this day but, much of it still  remains a mystery. During his time, this was a prosperous and sublime place. Today the visitors can slowly discover wondrous pieces of destiny, as this grandiose spa and baroque landscape reveals its forgotten secrets”.





The original collegiate manor of Choustníkovo Hradiště, 1754.


Project Title


Historical Analysis of the Cultural Landscape of Kuks and Betlém within the Original Manor of Choustníkovo Hradiště



Output Type

General report





Expert guarantor VÚKOZ, v.v.i

Hendrych Jan


Jech David

GIS specialist

Skaloš Jan

DTB specialist

Dlouhá Eva

Historical research

Vávrová Věra

Expert support of NPÚ

Ličeníková Michaela, Truxová Ina, Jančo Milan

State University of North Carolina

Laura Demink

Other fellow workers

Borský Jan, Baroš Adam, Bendíková Lucia

Technical works

Janoušková Jana, Petržílková Jana


Authors of texts and photos: Hendrych Jan, Jančo Milan, Jech David, Líčeníková  Michaela, Skaloš Jan, Vávrová Věra, Dlouhá Eva, Vávra Miloš



Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening, Publ. Res. Inst.

Departement of cultural landscape and sites


Květnové náměstí 391

252 43 Průhonice

Czech republic



hendrych@vukoz.cz, jech@vukoz.cz, universe@centrum.cz



International cooperation


within the realization of the project “Historical Analzsis of the Cultural Landscape of Kuks and Betlém

within Original Collegiate Manor of Choustníkovo Hradiště”


UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC UNESCO)

Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU)

Fachhochschule Potsdam (FHP)

Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus (BTU)

North Carolina State University

Pennsylvania State University

National heritage institute Czech republic (NPÚ)



Technical resources used

GIS: ArcView 3,2;  Topol 6.5;  FGis 2005; DTB: Microsoft Access 2002; Claris 4.0

In the course of the project preparation works the results of HKK_5016 and HKK_5018 research plans and sectional territorial sources of the Ministry of Environment of CR were used.



As an Introductory Note


The protection of cultural landscapes is a highly political act. It represents an interdisciplinary border region that comprises such diverse fields as protection of nature, preservation of historic archaeological, architectural and garden and park sites as well as land use regulations and regional planning. The common interest in the preservation of historical cultural landscapes and the legally determined duties concerning their preservation, offer (at least in Germany) a relatively good foundation for mutually coping with this task. Among diverse preservation interests exist numerous commonalities that can be put to use for the protection and preservation of each cultural landscape; at the same time, different interests characterize the often-heated debates in the preservation of cultural landscapes. Just as a cultural landscape is shaped through the layering of structures from different eras, the preservation and conservation of a cultural landscape is the product of different interests, which should be brought into harmony.


The present report speaks abundantly of the chances, challenges and difficulties of the preservation of a unique cultural landscape that was laid out in the 17th century in eastern Bohemia. What Count Sporck planned and realized as a unity, remains today in some individual areas still entirely in its authentic design; in others however, it has been handed down in a fragmented state. The present treatment of this valuable cultural historical heritage, which is significant not only regionally but also recognized internationally, is determined by current administration and ownership boundaries, questions of continuous maintenance and long term preservation and planning strategies.


For the Czech Republic, the present study documents for the first time a historical cultural landscape in its historical and cultural complexity. Besides a historical and topographical analysis, conditions and difficulties of the current management of the site are brought out. The subject of investigation calls for an absolute interdisciplinary approach to the study. The study unites the currently available knowledge about the cultural landscape created by Count Sporck, with the hope of delivering a basis for the development of strategies for and a sustainable treatment of this fragile work of art.


That this was possible is primarily due to the generous funding by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). The team of the Silva Tarouca Research Institute in Pruhonice, with great involvement, enthusiasm, reliability and outstanding expertise, conducted the time consuming documentation and analysis of the cultural landscape by Count Sporck and its development following Sporck’s death. For this work, I would like to especially thank Jan Hendrych and his colleagues.



Sven Wallasch

FH Potsdam




The original collegiate manor of Choustníkovo Hradiště, 2001.




 Localization of area of interest within Czech republic.



Localization of area of interest within Europe.






1  Introduction


2  Objects Identification

2.A) Country

2.B) State, region, district, administrative territory, cadastre

2.C) Object name

2.D) Exact object localization and geographical coordinates

2.E) Determining the boundaries of the object of interest

2.F) Functional zoning and determining the surfaces


3  Specifying the Importance of the Site

3.A) The importance of the object and site

3.B) Comparable objects in Europe and in the world

3.C) Object authenticity and condition

            3.C.a) Hospital

            3.C.b) Betlém

3.D) Inscription criteria

3.E) Reasons for inscription

3.E.a) Economical

3.E.b) Historical

3.E.c) Cultural

3.E.d) Strategic

3.E.e) Social and educational

3.E.f) Environmental

3.E.g) Other


4  Object Description

4.A) Object description and brief characteristics

4.B) History of the object of interest

            4.B.a) Archive documents

            4.B.b) Regarding the bebinnings of the cultural development

of the landscape surrounding Choustníkovo Hradiště

            4.B.c) František Antonín Špork

            4.B.d) Founding Kuks

4.B.e) Historical Data Overview

4.C) Object geographical characteristics

            4.C.a) Wider territorial relations and localization of the territory

of interest within the CR

            4.C.b) Geological characteristics

            4.C.c) Gemorphologic characteristics

4.C.d) Pedological characteristics

            4.C.e) Potential natural vegetation

            4.C.f) Climatic characteristics

            4.C.g) Bigeographic characteristics

            4.C.h) Territorial system of ecological stability (TSES)

4.D) The territory structure and utilization, territory description


5  Conservation, Revitalization, Care and Development

5.A) Historical phases of the development and maintenance

5.A.a) Historical phases of the development and maintenance (care)

5.A.b) Kuks Hospital

5.A.c) Betlém – the stages of development


5.B) Conservation and revitalization programs in the progress

            5.B.a) The core zone

5.B.b) The protective zone

5.B.c) The wider territory of interest

5.C) Current concepts of the conservation and development (UP, PU, US ...)

5.D) Results of the programs in the progress


6  Management

6.A) Goals

6.B) Tools and structures

            6.B.a) Basic regulations, limits and recommendations for the individual


            6.B.b) Apperance convention of the new buildings and building

modificaions in the territory of interest

            6.B.c) Management database of the elements of interest, methodology

6.C) Financial preconditions

6.D) Personnel preconditions

6.E) Proposed programs

6.F) Description of proprietary relationships

6.G) Involvement of the public


7  Monitoring

7.A) Tools and provisions

7.B) Status indicators


8  Documentation

8.A) Bibliography

8.B) List of sources

8.C) History documentation

8.D) Status documentation

8.E) Legal protection


9  List of Graphic Supplements

            9.A) Old maps and plans

            9.B) Present-day maps

            9.C) Graphics, drawings, old prints, hand writings

            9.D) Photos

            9.E) Tables, forms, schemes

            9.F) Posters


10  Map, Text and Graphic Supplements


11  The Team, VÚKOZ, v.v.i.






The Baroque Landscape of Count František Antonín Špork


The National Cultural Monuments of Kuks and Betlém are among the most remarkable works of Baroque. Historically, they were part of the manor of Count František Antonín Špork (1662–1738) – Choustníkovo Hradiště located on the south-east edge of the foothills of the Giant Mountains on the upper reaches of the Elbe River. Count Špork with his enlightened thinking and ability to change ideas into actions impressed unmistakable appearance to this area. On the bank of the Elbe River he built the famous Kuks Spa (Kuckus-Baad) and the Baroque complex of Braun’s Betlém nearby. Count invited some excellent artists who created their works not only in the centre of the manor but also systematically and penetrated to all its corners with imagination in the spirit of the Baroque composition. The source of material to work with on sculptures was not only the sandstone but also the vegetation elements – the trees became a subject of the artistic expression and compositional landscape thinking. Thus this resulted in the masterful thought-out interconnection of the Baroque architecture, sculpture and painting with the nature into one composed complex. The end product became the supreme work of the Baroque landscaping with an exceptional concentration of the pieces of art, the area with distinctive genius loci. At the same time at the turn of the 17th and 18th century Kuks represented an important social, cultural and spiritual centre. Continuation



Licence Creative Commons
Uvedená práce (dílo) podléhá licenci Creative Commons Uveďte autora-Neužívejte dílo komerčně-Nezasahujte do díla 3.0 Česko